Tuesday, December 14, 2010

First Post

There are lots of blogs out there by classic and exotic auto enthusiasts waxing poetic about this and that.Certainly I will engage in a bit of that too; but this is about the other side of the classic car hobby: discovery.

Finding (and sometime purchasing) those rare, lost artifacts of the automotive world or getting them in the hands of those that can appreciate them. Not a car dealer- rather an antiquities trader. Barnfinder!

But even the Barnfinder can't find- or buy- them all. And so I invite you to share your barnfind stories as well to celebrate a golden age of modern archaeological discovery-one that will probably not last past this generation.

For the first official barnfind, let's start from the start: S.C.C.A. racing in America took hold after World War II with returning G.I.s piloting lightweight M.G.'s on hastily-prepped road courses and airfields. Up through the 60's and 70's, M.G.'s remained the cheap and sturdy weapon of choice for entry level club racers. Today they form the backbone of the numerous vintage racing associations around the world.

Quick digression (Hang on tight, I do it a lot): the buzzwords among the Chief Judges at Pebble Beach this past year were patina and originality. This after many many years of rewarding and encouraging high buck, better-than-new restorations which ultimately destroyed those qualities which they so value now. Recent auction results of "survivor cars" have reflected this: folks want old things that look old, and this will be the driving trend in collector cars in the next decade.

This old M.G. Midget racer has buckets of patina. The car was campaigned around the Midwest in the 1970s and by the age of the safety equipment onboard it was probably retired to a barn by the early 1980's. It has no engine or trans and needs everything...except paint!

If it was me I would carefully buff out the great old livery. Clean the hand-lettered sponsor names and competition numbers and blend in some paint where needed. Repaint the rusty old rollbar and tidy up the spartan dash setup. I would repaint the wheels (as nothing sets off a car like a clean looking set of wheels and tires). Go through the car mechanically top to bottom, but keep that LOOK. Build your own engine to suit and wow 'em in the paddock of the next local track event.

I am going to pass on this one, but the seller is a great guy and I can hook you up with him. He only wants $1700 for the car, which I think is a cheap amount for a glimpse into 1970's SCCA MG Racing. The car is located in Oshkosh, WI. All of us will live long enough to laugh (or kick ourselves) at this price. Contact me at bestbarnfinder@yahoo.com for further info.

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